Race Day Preparation
Column for Surf Coast Time - Dec 2016
With less than a week to go before the Torquay Jim Wall Ironman the surf club athletes will be starting their race day preparation and taper. Racing is an opportunity for athletes to showcase all of their hard work, skills and fitness. When you are preparing for a competition there are few important factors to consider to ensure you are organised and feeling your best come race day. I will share with you a few tips and strategies I use to make sure I am race ready.
Be organised. “Perfect preparation prevents poor performance” is one of my favourite sayings. Make sure you have your bag packed, your craft and gear organised and your food prepared. You don’t want to arrive disorganised or having forgotten something. I usually make a competition day check list just to make sure.
Even though preparation is vital, sometimes it’s necessary to be flexible and go with the flow. Circumstances and problems will arise that are out of your control, for example huge surf, a change in start time or equipment malfunction. These are the times when you should time a deep breath in, reassess and adjust your plan.
Being nervous is normal. Nervousness kicks in when you want to do well. When you are nervous, a hormone called cortisol is released by your body as a response to prepare you to achieve something you really care about. So embrace the nerves, don’t let them bother you, acknowledge the feeling and use this to motivate you to race hard.
Ask advice from those more experienced than you. If in doubt about how to warm up properly or which is the best route to take through the surf, ask a coach or someone who knows that particular beach well. Every beach is different and making a specific race plan can make a big difference to how you go about your race.
Keep hydrated, rested and fuelled all day. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a competition and forget the simple things like eating well, warming up and applying sunscreen.
Finally, when you are organised and feeling ready to race, you will have the most fun and race your best. So get out there, go hard and enjoy your day!